By Guenter Lewy
1978 e-book on the United States in Vietnam.
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Extra resources for America in Vietnam: Illusion, Myth and Reality
The Central Committee," one defector stated, "could hardly permit the International Control Commission to say that there was an invasion from the North, so it was necessary to have some name . . "43 Why did the party wait until 1959 before launching the armed phase of the revolution? 45 These domestic difficulties dictated a policy of waiting. Ho Chi Minh told the Fatherland Front Congress in 1955 that "the North is the foundation, the root of our people's struggle. . "46 Secondly, the Central Committee felt that the revolutionary situation in the South was not yet "ripe," the masses had not yet become convinced that armed struggle was really necessary.
S. S. commit itself to the clear objective of preventing the fall of South Vietnam to communism: The basic means for accomplishing this objective must be to put the Government of South Vietnam into a position to win its own war against the guerillas. We must insist that the Government itself take the measures necessary for that purpose in exchange for large-scale United States assistance in the military, economic and political fields. At the same time we must recognize that it will probably not be possible for the GVN to win this war as long as the flow of men and supplies from North Viet-Nam continues unchecked and the guerillas enjoy a safe sanctuary in neighboring territory.
During the years 1956-59 the party contributed to the development of a revolutionary situation by assassinating the most effective local administrators, schoolteachers, medical personnel and social workers who tried to improve the lives of the peasants. This program of systematic terror, known as "the extermination of traitors," predictably goaded the Diem regime into stepping up its clumsily pursued and often brutal antiterrorist campaign, creating an air of capricious lawlessness. "But the more the people were terrorized," recalls a prominent defector, "the more they reacted in opposition, yet the more they reacted, the more violently they were terrorized.
America in Vietnam: Illusion, Myth and Reality by Guenter Lewy